August 28, 2006.
Honorable Judge E.M. presiding.
My chest was tight. My throat parched. I don’t think I could have possibly sweated anymore if I were on a camel’s back trotting through Morocco in July. My mother, step father, and husband were all at my side. My attorney seemed in good spirits and none of them appeared nearly as worried as my digestive system seemed to be.
It all went much faster that I had anticipated. Everything seemed to echo and move in a numbed slow motion. I kept neurotically checking my pulse in sly disguising ways.
The judge spoke and asked me several questions. Some I answered, some my attorney answered. I made a short statement – none of which I can remember now. Charlie spoke and was very choked up. This unleashed the hounds of tears I was so strongly trying to hold back. I cried and lost my breath. But I regained composure quickly. I refused to look as though I was a basket case, even though I was.
She accepted my Alford plea (From Wikipedia – In the law of the United States, an Alford plea is a plea in criminal court. In this plea, the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty. Upon receiving an Alford plea from a defendant, the court may immediately pronounce the defendant guilty and impose sentence as if the defendant had otherwise been convicted of the crime.) to the lesser charge of misdeamor battery and proceded to sentencing right away.
My attorney filed a brief the week before containing about 20 character affidavits. She said that she had read the breif and the statements. But still, the sentence was more harsh than I had been praying for.
12 months probation. During that 12 months it will be solely up to the probation officer’s discretion to whether or not dismiss my probation early. It will also be up to their discretion whether or not counsling is necessary. The cost of probation (about 60 bucks a month), counsling, and court fees are all to be paid by me. I still have no idea what that cost will be.
As she was finsihed handing out my fate, she said “Good luck, Mrs. Gxxxxxx”.
I left the court room and LOST IT. I was crying. I was mortified. I am mortified. They kept telling me it could have been much worse. I keep thinking – it should have never happened at all.